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What are the 4 Types of Data Backup?

Data Backup | December 23, 2022
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Unexpected data loss or corruption can be disastrous for any type of business, putting a halt to operations or severely reducing productivity until a solution is found. Data loss is never an expected occurrence. That is why the best way to handle data loss is to ensure that it is never fully lost in the first place. As a leading provider of data backup services, the team at Next Hop Solutions understands the importance of securing your vital data. That is why our experts have compiled some information to help you understand what the 4 types of data backup are and to determine which method is best for your operation.

Learn how to choose a data backup service provider.

Which Type of Data Backup is Right for you?

The following types of data backup are used by businesses of all sizes across various industries:

1. Full

A full data backup is the most comprehensive solution for data security. A full backup involves cloning all selected data including files, folders, SaaS applications, and more. One of the main benefits of a full data backup is the minimal time required to fully restore lost or corrupted data. It is important to note that, since all files are backed up at once, this process takes the most amount of time to complete. Full data backups ensure complete data recovery, but frequent backups can quickly overload storage space. That is why most businesses will run a full data backup on a weekly or monthly basis while supplementing the space between them with incremental, differential, and mirror backups.

2. Incremental

Incremental backups are run more frequently than full backups. Instead of backing up every file, incremental backup focus on securing files that have been created or modified since the last full backup or differential backup. Incremental backups allow you to restore data faster than full backups without occupying as much hard drive space. Most businesses or IT providers will manually run a full backup and follow up with several automated incremental and differential backups for optimal data security.

3. Differential

A differential backup operation is similar to an incremental the first time it is performed in the sense that it will copy all data changed from the previous backup. The primary difference is that will continue to copy all data changed since the previous full backup each time it is run. This means that it will store more data than an incremental backup on subsequent operations. Differential backups require more space than incremental backups but less than full backups, making them a popular choice for businesses of all sizes.

4. Mirror

This backup type creates an exact copy of the source data set, but only the latest data version is stored in the backup repository with no record of previous versions of the files. This backup serves a mirror of the source data, hence the name. All the different backed up files are stored separately, just like they are in the source. The main benefits of mirror backups are the fast data recovery time and easy access to backed up files. On the other hand, one of the main drawbacks is the large amount of storage space required. Another element to note is that problems in the source data set, such as corruption or deletion, will be carried over to the mirror backup. As a result, it is not a good idea to rely solely on mirror backups for all your data protection needs.

Regardless of the type of data backup(s) you choose, you should follow the 3-2-1 backup rule for optimal security. With this rule, you will store three copies of data on two different forms of media, with one copy off site to ensure optimal security in any situation.

To learn more about our data backup services or to inquire about our other managed IT solutions, get in touch with the team at Next Hop Solutions. We can be reached through our online contact form and will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding our services or your IT requirements.


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